If the Angels somehow scramble and make the playoffs this season, the turning point in that pursuit will most likely be a broken-bat single.
The replay couldn't have shown it any better. Mike Trout, jammed on an 0-2 pitch. Trout, fighting off the pitch and somehow getting just enough wood on it to guide the ball up the middle and into center field. A little piece of the bat, maybe four inches long, swirling through the air as the tying run headed home.
If this is, indeed, the beginning of the Angels successful kick to the finish line, here's hoping somebody picked up that little piece of wood and is looking for a trophy case to display it, just in case.
Torii Hunter's ensuing game-winning sacrifice fly was also symbolic. While the rest of this highly talented team has each taken a turn on a roller-coaster of inconsistency, the old hand Hunter, a leader in all the ways one needs to be in a baseball season of 162 regular-season games, has remained what he was brought to Anaheim to do. He has been consistent and productive in the clutch.
The Angels, of course, have started runs so many times this season, and then stopped them. But none of them fails to understand that time is running out, and none of them could miss the need and significance of winning the game against the Red Sox on Tuesday night.